Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surviving in a Suicide League - Week 9

By Chris Alan

Big games for the Saints and Packers bringing respect back to the NFC. There’s been lots of talk this season about the AFC continuing their dominance over the NFC in cross conference games. Instead, last week two of the AFC powerhouses were dismantled, Steelers and Jets respectively. For the season the AFC is winning 20-15 with 29 games remaining, so its likely the AFC will end up with the better record, but both those wins were pivotal for the two most popular NFC Super Bowl picks who currently have winning records (Cowboys and Vikings, I’m looking at you).

Interesting Stat: Since the beginning of the 2008 season, half of the Detroit Lions wins have come against the Washington Redskins. They did play in 2008, but I doubt thats any consolation now for Redskins fans.

Pick of the Week: New York Giants -6.5 at Seattle Seahawks
I don’t like picking away games in a Suicide league, but sometimes you have to make calculated risks and I feel they’re less risky than a division game. The Giants two losses are against the Colts and the Titans, their defense has knocked out a surprising number of quarterbacks this year and they are fresh off a bye week. The only reason to hold on to the Giants would be when they host the Jaguars in week 12, but I think this will be an easier game for them. Seattle is tough at home, where they’re undefeated this year, but the Giants are a good road team. Look for their defensive line to put Hasselbeck in many unfavorable positions, namely his back.
Confidence level: 4 out of 5

Safe Pick: Minnesota Vikings -9.5 hosting Arizona Cardinals
This is the highest spread total of the week, and with good reason. Minnesota does not have to excel to win this game, they just need to play competently on both sides of the ball. It may be worth holding on to the Vikings until week 13 when they host Buffalo, but that will probably be an even higher spread. Hopefully this will be the most boring write up I have for any game this year, I really don’t have anything else to say.
Confidence level: 4 out of 5

Spread Pick: New York Jets -4.5 at Detroit Lions
The Jets offense looked as inept last week after their bye as they did in week 1 against the Ravens. I think they are a team that has to get into their playing groove, and I expect them to bounce back this week like they did when they started their 5 game winning streak in week 2. The Jets will play better than the Redskins did last week, and will own this game.
Confidence level: 3.5 out of 5

Underdog Pick: Buffalo Bills +3.5 hosting Chicago Bears
Buffalo is better than the 2008 Lions, based on nothing scientific, and will not go winless this year. They’re coming off two tough weeks on the road, both losses were against much better teams in overtime. Chicago is considered by many, namely me, to be the worst team with the best record. The Bears narrowly make their way to a 3-0 record with a baffling non-catch by Detroit and a ridiculous amount of penalties committed by Green Bay. Since then Chicago has been 1-3 with the sole win over the rebuilding Carolina Panthers. If Buffalo can continue playing hard for another week then the free falling Bears should be easy pickings. One last note, this game will be played in Toronto, so even though it’s a “home” game it kind of isn’t.
Confidence level: 2.5 out of 5

Side Notes:
I am weary of the Spread Gods once again this week. I agree that the Atlanta Falcons are better than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even though they have the same record, but I don’t think they are 8.5 points better. Plus, division games are known for surprises. If I were in Vegas I would put money on the Bucs.

Likewise with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Dallas Cowboys. Sure Dallas has put up some stinkers, but last week against Jacksonville was their only game loosing by more than 7. I don’t know where their motivation is going to come from, but I’m not going to assume they will never get it. If their defense plays competently and the receivers remember how to hold on to the ball this will be a close game.

If I hadn’t already played Baltimore as my Pick of the Week I would be tempted to this week. They are fresh off a bye week and playing at home. Their last game was a squeaker against the winless Bills, and I’m sure Ray Lewis is using that as motivation during this weeks practice. The Dolphins have put together an impressive run of away wins this season, but I’m hedging their luck runs out this week. Baltimore will have an easier home game against Tampa Bay in week 12 but this is an attractive pick based on a close spread.

Pick of the Week: 2-2 with -31 spread total: 5) Texans(L), 6) Bears (L), 7) Ravens (W), 8) Patriots (W)
Safe Pick: 3-1 with -39 spread total
Spread Pick: 3-1 with -11 spread total
Underdog Pick: 1-3 with +9 spread total


Ed Anthony said...

Chris: Betting people know about the idea of picking the away favorite after a bye. This comes up seldom but when it does it picks winners against the spread. This goes against your Buffalo pick. Actually, this has only come up twice this year and we have have away favorites after a bye twice this week.

Neil O said...

Am I the only one who fails to see any kind of analytical contribution from this guy?

This is not the Advanced NFL Gut-Feeling Community.

Andy said...

I think its still interesting to read. Its not like anybody else is posting anything anyway, id rather have something to read than nothing.

James said...

I agree with Andy. The only other option would be to use Brian's predictions combined with the point spread to estimate a winner, but we already have people posting that in the comments.

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